Vendors cry foul

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By Kefiloe Kajane

Street Vendors are up in arms as they face the possibility of losing livelihoods due to the total lockdown that came into force on Thursday after being announced by Prime minister Moeketsi Majoro on Tuesday.

The vendors’ major concern is the short notice that they were given by the Prime Minister which they say did not give them enough time to prepare themselves.

A street vendor who sells vegetables in Maseru central business district, Mohapi Mohapi, said even though they understand the reasons and need for the lockdown, the least they deserved was to be consulted first and be given a few days to get their ducks in a row.

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Mohapi said he just purchased stock for M1 500 and closing down so suddenly means his vegetable will all go to waste.

“All these veggies will have gone bad after two weeks. Now I am worried about my kids and I will eat at home. I was just trying to get back on my feet after paying school fees and recovering from the festive season.

“We earnestly plead with the government to allow us to operate a few hours a day instead of banning us altogether. Of course we know Covid-19 is dangerous, but so is hunger,” Mohapi said.

Another street vendor who sells fruits, ‘Marethabile Marou, expressed concern that they might resort to stealing to make ends meets, if they stay home without an income for too long.

Marou is worried about what might happen to her children who depend on the money she makes daily.